Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 12/06/2015
1. Tanker Disappears off Vietnam
Authorities in Southeast Asia are increasingly concerned about the disappearance of a small LPG tanker off Vietnam. The 1991-built, 4,999 dwt Teknogas’s last AIS was sent on June 8. The Malaysian-flagged ship issued a distress signal in the early hours of June 10, 200 nautical miles south of Ho Chi Minh City in the South China Sea, an area increasingly plagued by pirates. The vessel is owned by Uni-Fleet, a Malaysian firm. The company was unavailable for comment.
2. Health and Career Problems from Piracy
Seafarers are suffering health problems and turning down work because of fears of piracy and armed robbery, even if they have not experienced violence first-hand, a study has found. Further, they are likely to have more worries than those who have actually been attacked. The latest study by Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) suggests "indirect exposure" to violent incidents can cause health problems similar to those of seafarers who have been held hostage or attacked. Most commonly among these are post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and serious depression. This can then lead seafarers to decline jobs.
3. 20% Rise in Asian Attacks
In May 2015, a total of 20 incidents were reported in Asia, of which two were acts of piracy and 18 were incidents of robbery onboard ship. From January 2015 till May 2015, a total of 80 incidents had been reported, comprising 75 actual incidents and five attempted incidents. This accounts for an increase of 19% in the number of incidents compared to the same period in 2014. Notably, January-May 2015 recorded the highest number of actual incidents among the five-year reporting period, indicating that more incidents had occurred in 2015; and these were mostly incidents reported in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS). http://goo.gl/WjUMHk
4. Marine Polluters Punished
Two shipping companies and their masters have been prosecuted by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) for two separate marine pollution incidents within the Great Barrier Reef. Tokyo based Perses Maritima Ltd and the master of its Japan registered vehicle carrier Asteria Leader were found guilty on May 18 in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on one charge each of illegally discharging garbage under the Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act 1983. A routine Port State Control inspection conducted by an AMSA revealed a record of the discharge of 0.03m3 of food waste within the Great Barrier Reef.
5. Flags Want Review of Rescue Rules
In the first session of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee’s special session on mixed migration at sea, a review of rescue regulations to clarify the role of ships in mass rescues at sea was called for by Italy, the UK, Malta, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), while the US and Norway urged caution. Italy introduced the issue on the basis that there is no "harmonised interpretation" of the regulations, and particularly of the word "distressed", which obliges ships to assist other vessels at sea. Between January and May, 13,475 people had been rescued by merchant ships. http://goo.gl/3inZgH
6. Panama Canal Tests New Locks
The Panama Canal took another important step towards the completion of its expansion Thurday beginning with water tests and filling of the lower chamber of the new locks of Agua Clara, at the Atlantic entrance of the waterway, leading to operational testing and quality control of the gates system of the third set of locks for the expanded canal. “This event demonstrates the magnitude of what we have been working for in the last seven years”, said Panama Canal Administrator Jorge Luis Quijano. “Filling the locks with water is the culmination of arduous years of labour and the realisation that we are within arm’s reach of the completion".
7. Bad Times for Oil and Gas Industry
Two-thirds of North Sea oil and gas industry operators (67 percent) have been forced to cancel projects because of the recent fall in oil price, according to an industry report. The findings, from the 22nd Oil and Gas Survey reveal that half of operators (exactly 50 percent of respondents) have been forced to reduce staff training for the same reason. The fall in oil price has been a contributing factor to a fall in confidence and activity levels in the sector. Contractors’ confidence in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) is at its lowest point since the survey began in 2004. Only 7 percent of contractors are more confident about their UKCS activities.
8. IACS New Rules for Large Box Ships
The International Association of Classifications Societies (IACS) has announced the adoption of new rules to further improve the safety of Large Container Ships by enhancing consistency between pre-existing Class Society requirements. The new rules are combined within a single new Unified Requirement, known as UR S11A, and includes three new safety measures that provide a robust, timely and complete response to the findings of the investigation by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and subsequent papers to the IMO into the 2012 MOL Comfort disaster in the Indian Ocean.
9. What a Load of Scrap
Bulker scrapping in the first quarter of 2015 hit a record high of 8.89 million dwt, according to data provided to Ship & Bunker by VesselsValue.com. The total represents almost 87 percent of the combined total 10.27 million dwt of bulkers, containerships, LNG, LPG, and tanker vessels scrapped during the period.
"There’s a lot of negative sentiment out there but there’re some signs of an end in sight," said Braemar ACM shipping analyst Peter Malpas. He added, "If we continue scrapping at that rate, we’ll see fleet growth start to change by the early part of next year and the oversupply will start to erode by the end of 2016."
10. Greek Owners Throwing Money Around
Greek shipowners invested a total of 1.7 billion euros in March and April alone in newbuild orders – mainly tankers at Asian shipyards – as shipbrokers’ data show. This constitutes a marked increase in investing in this particular market compared with previous months. This comes in stark contrast with other categories of ships where activity is close to zero. The main example of that is the dry-bulk carrier category, as its market remains in decline and will likely stay that way for the next couple of years at least. Consequently, Greek shippers are again turning toward tankers, where rates are maintaining a steady northbound course.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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